Life in the Pool

First off, let me stress that I am more than happy for anyone who is getting in whatever kind of workout they can.  However, I am confronted on a regular basis by a cast of characters in my lane when I'm trying to swim.  Here are some pieces of advice I'd like to broadcast, in the hopes that some of those Cowichan Aquatic Centre patrons will heed them.

1 - The end of the lane, in particular right on the black T, is not a convenient place for you and a friend to have a half-hour conversation.  That is what the hot tub and sauna are for, or maybe the lazy river.  I'm sorry to disrupt your chats with my flip turns.

2 - I'm sure sidestroking is as good a workout as any, but doing it in the fast lane (or even medium lane - let's be real) all the while trying to keep your hair dry and asking me to splash less when I pass you is slightly annoying.  Or slightly funny, depending on the mood I'm in.

3 - The black lane along the bottom is to be swum around when sharing a lane and swimming circles.  It's not a slalom course marker, and the objective is not to cross it as many times as possible in one length.  I'm just saying.

4 - There is a cart with a bunch of kickboards for everyone to help themselves.  You don't have to steal mine, especially when I've tried to make it obvious that I'm using it by piling all my stuff on top of it when it's waiting at the end of the lane for me.  Plus, I ask the lifeguards to get the "special" ones from the back room that they don't keep on the cart (for whatever reason).  If you want a special one, ask the lifeguard too.  Yes, there are "special" kickboards.  Those who swim at the CAC know what I mean!

5 - I am a terrible breaststroker, but there's one thing I know for sure about it.  The goal isn't to make the kick phase as wide as your height and kick other swimmers in their face in the next lane over.  I'm pretty sure that messes with the whole "streamline" thing.

6 - If I am swimming faster than you (and believe me, there are plenty of swimmers faster than me!) and we've established that by me passing you several times... the best time to push off from the wall is NOT when I'm about one stroke away from turning.

7 - The signs at the end of the lane mean something, and if you're not sure what they are saying, I'm sure a lifeguard will help you interpret them.  For example, "Fast Lane" means you should be moving at least faster than swimmers in the medium lane, not faster than a ball floating on the surface.  (Also, see #2).  Spend a minute or so checking out the speed of people in the fast, medium, and slow lanes, and then jump into the one you think you belong in.  Not simply the lane with the fewest people.  And the arrows indicate the direction to swim, it's not a free-for-all interpretation of a zig-zag pattern. (Also, see #3).

8 - Kickboards and pullbuoys are mutually exclusive, not to be used simultaneously.  Seriously.

9 - Diving off the blocks while people are swimming circles is frowned upon at the very least (as in: a no-no).  I'm pretty sure that's why those orange cones are on the top of the blocks.  You know, as an indicator that you're not supposed to use the starting blocks right then, not just move the cone off before you dive in on top of someone.

10 - If your swimsuit is see-through and threadbare, please buck up and buy another one.  I don't need to know that much about you!  One indication that's it worn out is that it's so loose it flaps around when you push off the wall.  If you're not sure, ask a lifeguard - that would be a fun conversation to overhear!


  1. Hah! Find a new place to swim!

  2. Ha- this is awesome! Seriously to number 8?!?! Well, to all of them, but I can't even picture that one!
    I needed this after a super frustrating swim on Tuesday morning where every time I'd go to pass this guy he'd move towards me, rubbing me out.

  3. Now this made me laugh out loud. It seems that every pool has it non-swimming characters. Mine are mostly elderly - people who have reached the age where they feel they can do whatever they want because they are old.
    #2 makes me chuckle. Who honestly gets into a pool and then complains about being splashed. That would amount to a challenge for me - did you say splash more??? Certainly I can!

  4. Well, at least I don't experience them all at once! I'd say I average about one character per swim. How I love the days when I have the pool to myself - that sometimes happens when I can duck out of work early and be in the water around 1pm. Bliss!

  5. now you need to write an etiquette for using the running track. I use to come upon people on the inside lane walking zigzags when I would run track. Just another reason to not run track:)

  6. I love the aqua-fit ladies. They seem to think it is ok to come to the pool in a haze of perfume you can TASTE, makeup on and hair all done. Then they proceed to gossip near the lane line while trying to make it look like they are participating. It is not my fault the lifeguards have set up the "fast lane/continuous swim lane" right beside the aqua fit class. I am not splashing you on purpose every time I go by BUT I will splash more if you start having temper-tantrums like my children because you are getting wet IN THE POOL!!! I do not complain about your perfume OR bitchyness OR bad bouffant hairdo. I am just trying to swim in the lane designated to me by the powers that be.

    1. I know EXACTLY what you mean about tasting the perfume!